Pregnant woman without coronavirus report turned away by Bandra hospitals | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: A nine months’ pregnant woman was allegedly refused admission to a private hospital in Bandra on Monday, despite her experiencing cramps, because she did not have a Covid-19 test report. Misbah Shaikh, 24, and her family spent nearly six hours at the hospital, requesting admission but in vain. Her family is worried she may deliver at any minute and will need immediate medical attention.
Shaikh had registered at Holy Family Hospital for delivery and had paid a deposit. She had been consulting a gynaecologist there for four months. “My scheduled date of admission was April 28. But on Sunday night, I developed cramps and was uneasy. At 9 am on Monday, we reached Holy Family Hospital, where we were told I wouldn’t be given entry without a Covid-19 test report. Nobody had asked us to do this test during our previous visits,” said Shaikh. Till 3pm, she waited in the car outside. A doctor agreed to see her in the emergency section and handed her a prescription for a Covid-19 test.
From the hospital, Shaikh’s family then took her to Bhabha Hospital, Bandra, to get the Covid-19 test done. But the hospital said she would need to get admitted, which the family was unwilling to do. “The cramps have reduced but haven’t gone. My due date for delivery is close,” said Shaikh. Her family has taken an appointment at an Andheri lab for Tuesday, where she will undergo thetest. Following many such refusals, BMC has designated BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central and Nanavati in Parle to perform deliveries of Covid-positive women. Nair has carried out over 20 deliveries so far.
While authorities at Holy Family Hospital couldn’t be reached, a medical staffer at the gynaecology ward told TOI women have been asked to get admitted two days prior to their due date. “We carry out a Covid-19 test and if she comes negative, we go ahead with the delivery. If the woman is positive, we refer her to another hospital. We also ask one attendant accompanying the woman to take the test,” the staffer said.
There have been many such instances. Those from hotspots suffer more. A 32-year-old woman from Dadar was turned away from 3 hospitals despite having a positive report for malaria last week. “Since I had fever, nobody wanted to admit me,” she said. A 40-year-old man with gastrointestinal issues said he was asked to get a Covid-19 test done before coming to hospital after he developed pain and vomiting.
Bhiwandi MLA and Byculla corporator Rais Shaikh said he has written to the BMC chief in this regard. “These test results take more than 24-72 hours, and treatment for such patients can’t wait. Also, many struggle to fund their own treatment and can’t pay for such tests,” he said.
Dr Lalit Kapoor of Association of Medical Consultants said a hospital keen on protecting staff was probably justified in asking for such a report if it was for a surgery. “For routine exams, it would be unfair to ask for a report,” he said. Gynaecologist Dr Kiran Coelho, who consults with Lilavati Hospital, said they have informed all registered women, who have entered 38 weeks of gestation, to get the test done. “ICMR guidelines say pregnant women and an attendant should have a Covid-19 negative report with a validity of 15 days. The validity period is 5 days for those coming from hotspots,” she said.

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